Everybody's Got One
A blog. An opinion. An elimination orifice. A dream. An agenda. A past. A hidden talent. A conceptual filter. A cross. A charism (often the same). A task. A wound. A destiny. A lost love. A blind spot. A bad habit. A secret. A passion. A soul ... okay, maybe not everybody ...
Sunday, February 15, 2004

 

Robert Jensen at First Things, How the World Lost Its Story:
The modern world, the world that instrumental and critical reason built, is falling about us. Modernity, it now becomes evident, has been all along eroding its own foundations; its projects and comforts have depended on an inheritance to which it has itself been inimical. Walter Lippmann spoke of "the acids of modernity"; as it turns out, the stones attacked by this acid have been those on which the modern world was itself erected. Analysts from all relevant disciplines converge on one insight: modernity has lived on a moral and intellectual capital that it has not renewed, and indeed could not have renewed without denying itself. They moreover agree that this intellectual and moral capital was that built up by the Christian church's long establishment in the West, also if they themselves do not share the church's faith or even admire it.

Perhaps the fall of modernity will be complete in our lifetimes; perhaps it will occupy another century. However long it takes, any successor society is still too distant - or perhaps too precluded - to discern. It is the collapse itself amidst which the church must for the foreseeable future live and speak the gospel, it is modernity's time of ending as such that constitutes the Western church's postmodern mission field. As the church once lived and conducted her mission in the precisely post-Hellenistic and post-Roman-imperial world, remembering what had vanished but not knowing what if anything could come next, so the church must now live and conduct her mission in the precisely "post"-modern world.
For a long time I have been pondering exactly what it means to be a Christian in a post-Christian world. What place do we have, how do we fit in, when we are neither persecuted nor central, but marginalized and merely tolerated? On occasion, I broaden my focus enough to wonder what it means for the corporate Church - not just for individuals - to live in such a world. What does the remnant do: Evangelize? Endure? Reorganize internally? Wait for inspiration? Tend our garden? Jensen's argument is that for the world to have become post-Christian involved a long-term societal disabling - and an unwelcome reminder that the mission of the Church is to redeem the world. In this case, a world that doesn't admit it is lost, and disbelieves everything we have to say.

posted by Kelly | 7:42 PM link
archives
email
links